Bangalore all set to host T20 World Cup for Blind

The cricket season is in full swing and the visually impaired are not to be left behind. The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) and Samarthanam, an NGO for the disabled, is organising the first ever T20 World Cup for the Blind from December 1 to 13 in Bangalore.

The tournament will feature nine countries — Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Nepal and hosts India — battling it out for glory.

The matches will be played at two venues — Central College grounds and Aditya Global Sports ground in Nelamangala, Mahadevapura — and the tournament will be played on a league-cum-knockout format.  

After the league phase, with each team playing the other once, the top four qualify for the semifinals which will be played on December 12 at the Central College grounds and the final will be held on December 13 at the same venue.

Announcing the event at a press meet, GK Mahantesh, founder and managing trustee of Samarthanam, said he was extremely happy with the support they have received.

 “It’s a dream come true, cricket for the blind has to be looked beyond commercial implications. I thank the sponsors and the state government who have contributed about 20 percent of the costs involved in conducting the tournament,’’ he added.   

Mahantesh also urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) to support the cause and thanked the media for the overwhelming response.  

“I request the BCCI and KSCA to come forward and help strengthen our initiative. Media support has been humongous and we are very grateful to them,’’ he added.

SP Nagesh, CABI President, hoped for more support from the KSCA. “We are very happy that SBI has come in as the title sponsors and it will be great if the KSCA gives us the Chinnaswamy stadium for the semifinals and final,’’ he added. 

The event will kick off with an inauguration ceremony on December 1 with former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga expected for the function.

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